Compliant Students or Engaged Students, Pick One

I have really enjoyed listening to this radio interview on BAM -Thank you @CoolCatTeacher for sharing.


Image to link to radio broadcast
Radio interview with Dan Pink discussing engagement.

Some nuggets that resonate with me:

  • Are we preparing kids for their future or our past
  • Compliance is not the same as engagement
  • Genuine hallmarks of motivation – Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose
  • The technology for engagement is self direction
  •  The fourth purpose of school is create people compliant, obedient and follow rules.  There was a time in economy when that was right thing
  • We often confuse learning goals and performance goals.   If a student gets an A on the test is a performance but doesn’t mean they learned.
  • Make learning problems real problems instead of hermetically sealed problems.
  • Teachers need strategic subversion – Do 1 thing that is good for your kids that isn’t necessarily authorized.


It is only 13 minutes and worth investing the time to listen.  It is great to listen to a speaker and have so much resonate. Intuitively we know we are on the right path, but to have it confirmed helps. Speaking to strategic subversion … I know I have modeled and encouraged many teachers to follow this one. It is easy to say No to great ideas for fear of what might happen. The counter is when you can safely bring up the experience of … Actually I have already done that with my class and it was a success.

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